Team Cobalt unveiled at RYA Dinghy Show

Designer Jack Gifford and Luke Yeates show us around their 20ft by 18ft twin rigged foiler cat

Thursday March 13th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

Hats off to designer Jack Gifford and his partner in Team Cobalt, Luke Yeates. After some years in gestation their catamaran is now a reality and was on display recently in the main foyer at Alexandra Palace during the RYA Dinghy Show.

Think miniature foiling Team Phillips and you come out close to where Team Cobalt is. Like Pete Goss' short-lived maxi-cat and Bruno Peyron's Jaz before her and Yves Parlier's 60 footer Mediatis Region Aquitaine subsequently, one of the fundamental concepts to Team Cobalt is her having a mast mounted in each of the two hulls of her catamaran platform. This gets away from having to step the mast on the least attractive area of a catamaran structurally (in the middle of a beam sitting between the two hulls). Through this and having the sheeting points for the sails on the hulls rather than the rear beam, the cross beams are much simpler to engineer and can be built substantially lighter than conventional catamaran cross beams.

In our interview below Luke Yeates makes some interesting observations about how with this twin rig set-up it is almost not necessary to use the rudders - because the rigs are so far apart, the boat can be steered according to how the sails are sheeted.

Design brains behind Team Cobalt is Jack Gifford, who ironically is a designer at the venerable naval architecture firm that is GL Watson - famous for having designed King Edward VII's Britannia

While Team Cobalt remains at an early prototype stage, they will be worth watching over the course of this year as they intend to get a new foil package - both main lifting foils and T-foil rudders - and with these they reckon the boat will be foiling with her hull 1.5m clear of the water! 

According to Gifford and Yeates, the aim of Team Cobalt at present is to nail the outright round the Isle of Wight record...set by the MOD70 Foncia (more about this here...and the on board video)....aka 'our record...' So while the boat is designed to go fast, it is also designed so that it can sail offshore, or at least coastal, her extreme ride height allowing her in theory to clear waves.



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